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Government Finally Acts on Environmental Water

06, March 2008

February 27th 2008

The announcement last night by Water Minister Nathan Rees that the government would audit water use in the Macquarie Marshes was welcomed by the chairman of the Australian Environment Foundation, Don Burke.

“The release of a report on Monday by Professor Richard Kingsford from the University of NSW showed the illegal diversion of environmental water flows to cattle pasture instead of the Macquarie Marshes – funded by NSW taxpayers – required decisive action.

The University report has confirmed the conclusions reached by AEF secretary, Gillian Hogendyk in her paper ‘The Macquarie Marshes-an Ecological History’ launched in the Marshes in September 2007.  Her paper details diversions of environmental water and levee banks that help to spread this water onto grazing land, to the detriment of the nature reserves.

Illegal water diversions have contributed to the death of thousands of floodplain river red gums that are a key part of this internationally recognised Ramsar wetland.

Nearly $200M has been allocated by the federal and state governments to improve water management in the marshes and other wetlands, but still the water is being diverted from the marshes. 

Purchasing more water for the marshes without addressing the issue of land management will not provide better water flows to the marshes – only more water ending up on private land” concluded Mr Burke.

- ENDS –

More information can be obtained here:
http://www.wetrivers.unsw.edu.au/  
http://www.ipa.org.au/files/Macquarie%20Marshes%20WEB.pdf 

Media Contact: Max Rheese 0428 621320

The Australian Environment Foundation (AEF) is a not-for-profit, membership-based environment organisation having no political affiliation.  The AEF is a different kind of environment group, caring for both Australia & Australians.  Many of our members are practical environmentalists – people who actively use and also care for the environment.  We accept that environmental protection and sustainable resource use are generally compatible. For more information about the AEF visit www.aefweb.info

 

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